Lifestyle medicine - An emerging new discipline

Robert F. Kushner*, Jeffrey I. Mechanick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Unhealthful lifestyle behaviors are a primary source of the global burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and account for about 63 % of all global deaths. Recently, there has been an increased interest in evaluating the benefit of adhering to low-risk lifestyle behaviors and ideal cardiovascular health metrics. Although a healthful lifestyle has repeatedly been shown to improve mortality, the population prevalence of healthy living remains low. The new discipline of lifestyle medicine has recently emerged as a systematized approach for the management of chronic disease. The practice of lifestyle medicine requires skills and competency in addressing multiple health risk behaviors and improving self-management. This article focuses on the effects of a healthful lifestyle on chronic disease and defining lifestyle medicine as a unique discipline. It also reviews the role of effective provider-patient communication as an essential element for fostering behavior change-the main component of lifestyle medicine. The principles of communication and behavior change are skill based and are grounded in scientific theories and models. Communication and counseling must be contextualized to the patients' economic situation, access to care, social support, culture, and health literacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-40
Number of pages5
JournalUS Endocrinology
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • Lifestyle medicine
  • Noncommunicable diseases
  • Prevention
  • Risk factor reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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